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PREMIERE: Crag Mask Streams New Album “Bend”

Crag Mask started as the sonic vision of guitars/vocalist Zackery Abramo. He conceived the band after departing Boston’s burgeoning indie-pop darling’s Vundabar, and recently rejoining as their bassist, and moving back to New Haven, Connecticut. After rediscovering long forgotten demos he tracked in high school, Abramo drafted an eclectic selection of local DIY veterans to fill out the line-up: Guitarist: Zayne Couch, bassist Phil Lord, and drummer Jason Rule. Presented with the demos, the band began to develop Abramo’s distinct take on rock and roll. The collaboration culminated in their full-length debut ‘Loom’ in 2017, (on GAWK records/Super Wimpy Punch). Since then, they have been bestowing their uniquely branded sound to the eastern half of the US on multiple tours.

Their sophomore album, Bend, was recorded in the later part of 2018. The album sonically expands on Loom in many ways. Their gloomy sound still unfolds into heavy hitting sections that groove and bend, all while maintaining a catchiness that acts as a thread through their non-traditionally structured tunes. On ‘Bend’, the band pushes their distinctive grooves to all sorts of strange and satisfying territories.

About the song, bassist Zack Abramo comments “Being in a band in a c-class market state is extremely tough to break out of no matter where you exist in the United States, but Connecticut is it’s own sort of special place. Existing right in between two cities that have been the birthplace of many successful and beloved indie bands of the past few years, it’s hard enough to get good touring acts through Connecticut, let alone get locals into the scene that already exists. Despite how insular the scene here is, it’s extremely fertile with amazing bands. It’s just hard for it to not feel like a drive through state at times. Bend deals with this specific topic a lot, but mainly is just about being in a band on the broader scale. The logistical aspects, the politics, the networking. At times it can all feel extremely silly pushing for our band in particular because we don’t have a niche. It feels weird to push your band onto people during such tumultuous times, and then seeing what bands are “in” and trying to figure out why. I come from a very poor background, and it’s really hard to find other people in the bands in our circle who have struggled. It seems like mostly everyone I meet in bands who are doing well have had decent upbringings with ample amounts of support from their parents. Whether that be emotionally or through monetary means. It just seems like the industry sort of forgets about poor kids and I’d like to speak out about it in some sort of way.  Yes, a lot of these folks may be faced with student loan debt now, but I’m talking about the kind of poor where your childhood home gets foreclosed.

The album also deals with a challenge we and many other bands face where we get written off as just a “heavy” band. a lot of the time we are too heavy to play with indie bands, and too soft to play with heavy bands. The album is about trying to navigating all of this and trying to carve out a space where we fit in. And is it all really worth it?”

The band takes the themes and concepts of the record as they split between two subtly different singles that showcases the band’s skills to take on a few risks.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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